LA County voters are urged to join the Citizens Redistribution Commission
Eligible Los Angeles County voters interested in participating in how electoral districts are allocated – which can determine how much power different electoral blocs have in deciding who runs the county – can still apply to join the 2020 Citizen Relocation Commission .
Los Angeles County Registrar / Recorder County Clerk announced that the original Monday deadline has been extended to September 8th.
Any LA County resident who is a registered voter and meets the eligibility criteria is encouraged to apply online at lavote.net or by returning a paper application which can be downloaded from the same website.
Applicants must have been consistently registered with the same party affiliation for the past five years to vote in Los Angeles County. Eligibility also requires voting in at least one of the last three statewide elections in June 2018, November 2018 or the March 2020 area code.
Neither the applicant nor the applicant's family should have disqualifying conflicts of interest.
The commission as a whole will be geographically, socially and ethnically diverse, according to officials, and will be tasked with adjusting the county's supervisory districts to create areas that are roughly the same in terms of population and geography.
A similar statewide commission, formed every 10 years after the US census, is responsible for drawing district lines for the seats of the State Assembly, Senate, and Federal Congress. However, this will be the first time a commission will be assembled for L.A. County that has been sued to prevent its creation in hopes of maintaining control over the drawing of county boundaries.
The district's complaint was intended to declare the law that required a commission – signed by the government at the time. Jerry Brown in 2016 after the passage of SB 958 – unconstitutional. District attorneys argued that it singled out Los Angeles County and violated laws that require district offices to be impartial.
"The state of California has imposed an unfair, impractical and unconstitutional new reallocation law exclusively on the county of Los Angeles," the lawsuit said. The state did so "without any rational basis or justification, and without consulting Los Angeles County voters, who are now the subject of a poorly designed civic experiment that they cannot fix or undo."
District officials said the local district boundaries were drawn based on extensive voter input, claiming the new rule would restrict input from independent voters.
However, not everyone was satisfied with the longstanding process in the district. Latino civil rights activists were sued in 1990, accusing the board of directors of attempting to weaken the influence of the Latino community in elections, which was confirmed in a ruling by a federal judge.
When activists threatened to file a lawsuit again in 2011, supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and then supervisor Gloria Molina pushed for a Latino district with a second majority, which was the subject of heated debates.
Your application was rejected in September 2011 with 2-3 votes. Three white male board members argued that nearly a third of the population would move to new counties and consolidate areas with few common interests.
Then-Sen. Ricardo Lara, who sponsored the 2016 bill, said it would make board races more competitive and ensure that "interest groups" stay intact when drawing districts.
Supervisor Hilda Solis was among those who urged Brown to veto the bill by writing a personal letter rather than asking the full board what would have required the motion to be included on a public hearing agenda.
The county lost its lawsuit and a subsequent appeal. An appellate panel of three judges decided in January that the Los Angeles county singling out was appropriate because of the county's "unique restructuring history, demographics, and geography."
In the opinion of the panel, the earlier racial discrimination was noted.
“Los Angeles County has a recognized history of racial discrimination in the way its board of directors has drawn district lines in the past. Between 1959 and 1990, Los Angeles County's restructuring efforts were hampered by measures aimed at "mitigating the effects of Hispanic voting in future elections and preserving the tenure of Anglo board members," wrote Judge Carl H. Moor for the Majority referring to the language used in the 1990 lawsuit.